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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Lilja (Lil) - 100

not in Skj

Lilja (‘Lily’) — Anon LilVII

Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.

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Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson: Lilja (AII, 363-95, BII, 390-416)

SkP info: VII, 588-9

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22 — Anon Lil 22VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 588-9.

Veitt er líf, það er varð, er mátti;
veitt er líf, það er Ádám neitti;
sú miskunn á settum tíma
sendiz fram af guðdóms hendi,
ljós í heim að lifanda kæmi;
lifandi víst og kvaldar andir
tæki burt ór djöfla díki;
dýrð einglanna slíku stýrði.

Veitt er líf, það er varð, er mátti; veitt er líf, það er Ádám neitti; sú miskunn sendiz fram á settum tíma af hendi guðdóms, að lifanda ljós kæmi í heim; tæki burt víst lifandi og kvaldar andir ór djöfla díki. Dýrð einglanna stýrði slíku.

Life is given, that which came into being when it had to; life is given, that which Adam refused; that mercy was sent forth at the appointed time from the hand of the Godhead, so that a living light might come into the world; it would take away truly living and tormented souls from the devils’ pit; the glory of angels controlled such [a thing].

Mss: Bb(114rb), 720a VIII(2v), 99a(5r-v), 622(27), 713(7), Vb(248), 41 8°ˣ(111), 705ˣ(7r), 4892(28r)

Readings: [1] Veitt er: Veittir 4892;    það: því 720a VIII, 622;    er: om. 720a VIII, 99a, 622, og Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    varð: vanðið 720a VIII;    er: om. 720a VIII, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, og 99a, 713, 705ˣ, 4892, það 622    [2] veitt er: eitt 720a VIII;    er: om. 99a    [3] á: af 720a VIII    [4] guðdóms: Ádáms 720a VIII;    hendi: lendum 720a VIII    [5] heim: heiminn Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    að: om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    lifanda: lifandi Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [6] lifandi: lifanda(?) 720a VIII, 705ˣ;    og: það er 99a, 622, 705ˣ, það Vb, 41 8°ˣ, enn 4892    [7] tæki: so Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, tak Bb, tæki í 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713;    burt: brott 720a VIII;    ór: af 720a VIII, úr 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    díki: díki úr 720a VIII    [8] einglanna: himnanna 720a VIII, 622

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 22: AII, 370, BII, 396, Skald II, 215, NN §3311.

Notes: [All]: The order of sts 22 and 23 is reversed in Bb. — [1] það er varð, er mátti ‘that which came into being when it had to’: Eiríkur Magnússon’s glossary (1870, 115) suggests ‘a life which came when it might, i.e. in fit season’. Another possible translation is ‘that which became what it had to become’. Skj B and Skald choose to read the third er of l. 1 as ok ‘and’ (so 99a, 713, 705ˣ and 4892), producing the cl. þat er varð ok mátti ‘[life] which was and could be [given]’. Skj B translates Det liv er givet, som måtte og kunde gives ‘That life is given, which had to be and could be given’. — [6] víst lifandi ‘truly living’: The majority of mss have lifandi, which can be construed as f. acc. pl. pres. part. agreeing with andir ‘souls’. Skj B and Skald adopt the minority reading lifanda, which must then be understood as a repetition of the same word in l. 5, qualifying ljós ‘light’. The Lil poet is fond of elegantly varied repetition, as in ll. 1-2 of this st. and 23/5-6. — [6] og ‘and’: Skj B and Skald prefer the reading of 99a, 622 and 705ˣ, þat er ‘which’, producing a rel. cl. — [8]: A reference to the archangels Gabriel, who brought the message of salvation to the world at the Annunciation, and Michael, who in visual representations of the Last Judgement traditionally assists Christ by weighing souls in a balance (see e.g. Gad 1966, 616-20).

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